Sore neck limits Tiger at pro-am

Updated: August 21, 2013, 3:58 PM ET
By Farrell Evans | ESPN.com

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- At The Barclays, the first leg of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs, Tiger Woods said Wednesday that he would take one major over his five wins in 2013.

[+] EnlargeTiger Woods
Andrew Redington/Getty ImagesAfter a 4-over finish at Oak Hill, Tiger Woods' major drought now sits at 18.

Still, the 37-year-old 14-time major champion says that he's had a great year, despite extending his careerlong drought in major wins to 18.

"You're looking over a course of a career, and you're going to have years where you don't win major championships and years that you do," he said. "There's years where I've won one tournament and years where I've won nine.

"So as long as I keep winning in all those years, it's not too bad."

For the second consecutive year at The Barclays, Woods has complained of back or neck pain related to a soft hotel bed. So on Wednesday he played only nine holes of his pro-am. He walked with his amateur partners but only chipped and putted at Liberty National. Last year during the event at Bethpage Black, he struggled through lower back pain to a tie for 38th.

Woods was seen grabbing his back in the final round of the PGA Championship this year. He also had an elbow injury that troubled him for two months this summer.

He said he's not concerned but didn't want to push it. He said everything felt fine when he was home.

Asked about getting a new bed, Woods smiled and said, "We'll have something."

Woods' best finish in seven Barclays appearances came in 2009, when it was last held at Liberty National and he finished in a tie for second.

He is ranked first in the FedEx Cup points race, but he understands that the winner isn't going to be determined until the playoff finale at the Tour Championship in late September.

Twice a FedEx Cup champion, the 79-time tour winner has grown comfortable with the series, now in its seventh year.

"You're basically playing for the top-five positioning going into the Tour Championship. Win it, and that will assure you being the champion of the playoffs," he said. "The first couple of years when Vijay and I won it, we didn't really have to play the Tour Championship."

When The Barclays was first held at Liberty National, Woods was a member of a vocal chorus of players who didn't particularly like the golf course. He described the Tom Kite-Bob Cupp design as "interesting."

Since then, the course, which has views of the Statue of Liberty and New York City, has undergone major renovations.

"They made some really nice improvements," Woods said. "Some of the landing areas have been changed, and a couple bunkers have been repositioned."

Woods said it would mean a lot to win his 11th PGA Tour Player of the Year honor.

"That's voted on by the players, so when you get the respect and the hats-off by your peers, that's something that we don't take lightly," he said.

Asked to name his competition for the honor, Woods gave Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker, all multiple winners in 2013.

"Obviously this run, any of those guys wins, hypothetically, wins all four, you're looking at a four-, five-, six-win season, and that's a pretty good season," he said.

On Wednesday, Woods also put a spotlight on his consistency since joining the tour in 1996. He pointed to the 10 years where he has won at least five events.

"That's one of the stats that I look at as one of the ones I'm really proud of," he said. "This is one of those years."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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